Vintage Rolex Reference 3335 Stainless Steel Chronograph

9:34 AM

Vintage Rolex Reference 3335 Stainless Steel Chronograph (photo: Phillips)
With the worldwide popularity of the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona model, it is hard to believe that there were any chronographs made by the watchmaker prior to its introduction. The reference 3335 above is a stainless steel chronograph released by the watchmaker in 1939. Known by collectors as a pre-Daytona, this rare vintage timepiece features a 12-hour register and other unique characteristics.

The 38 millimeter case houses a manual Valijoux 22 movement with 17 jewels. It comes on a leather strap with a stainless steel pin buckle. Its design is modern for a watch of that era and features telemeter and tachymeter scales in addition to chronograph sub-dials at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock. Its hands are blue and the piece has a cream-colored patina that covers the entire dial, with most of the print still well-defined despite its age.

The price of this vintage Rolex was estimated by Phillips between $50,000 and $100,000 US. In a previous post I presented what I considered the rarest Rolex models, and while this piece didn't make it on that list, it is still considered a highly rare model based on its age and limited run. While there are chronographs from other watchmakers with similar styles, there are not many Rolex chronographs to speak of aside from the Daytona.


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